BUILDING A CUSTOM MESQUITE TABLE

The first step is to drive 60 miles in the old truck in the background of the first picture and pick up the log with the winch and put it on the trailer, bring it home, put it on the swmill  and saw it into   2 1/4" slabs.  This is a Mesquite log about 11 1/2' long and about 20" in diameter.

Once sawn, the wood must be dried.  My solar kiln was in use when I got this log so I started out air-drying it for about a month and then I put it in the solar kiln for another 3 months 

 

When the wood is dry it is time to start building and with mesquite there is a lot of epoxy work to do.  This table needed 4 1/2 gallons of epoxy to fill the cracks and stabilize the pithy areas.  Then it is time to glue the top and then flatten it.  I used a technique called router planing.  Any straight bit will work but the bigger the better--I am using a 2" bit and made 3 passes taking about 1" per cut (1/8" deep.  End result:  38-48" wide, 10' long 1 7/8" thick

 

Once everything was epoxy filled and sanded, it was time to put it together and see if everything fit.  It went together nicely.  And did I say that this thing is heavy.

 

*I logged 112 hours working on this table over a six week time period, not including many hours of help from friends
  99 ½ hours were spent grinding the bark and sapwood off, planing, epoxying, assembling and sanding  the table, 12 ½ hours finishing it

*4 ½ gallons of epoxy were used to fill the cracks and voids and stabilize the punky areas. A quart of thin super glue was also used to solidify the punkiest areas prior to filling with epoxy

*8 coats of Waterlox were applied to all surfaces (approximately a gallon total) These were applied by hand, rubbed in, then wiped off, building the lustrous finish.  After the final coat, the top was hand rubbed with 0000 steel wool, sanded through 1500grit sandpaper and then buffed
(Time-wise, 16 coats were applied because once 8 coats were applied and dry all the parts were turned over the other side was finished with 8 coats.)

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